Well, its been a while since I have written. That is a good thing. We seem to be getting settled and doing better everyday. We have been keeping busy getting ready for a few exciting things coming up. Soon, some friends from Memphis will be here working with the church that we attend here in CR, and after that we have some day camps for the kids to attend. Here are some pictures of some of our recent activities.
We were able to enjoy some 4th of July festivities.
We found a beautiful beach that is pretty close to us (1 1/2 hours)
Nathan bought his first 4 wheel drive (its only 20 years old!)
We found a good pizza place
And we hosted our first playdate;)
This is just a post to document what we have been doing lately. Nothing too exciting. We are trying to get into the futbol (soccer) culture here. The boys got some Costa Rica jerseys and have watched a few of the World Cup games. We went to our local province (Alajuela) vs. Argentina Saturday evening.
Blake lost 2 teeth in one night and had a visit from the tooth fairy.
We made slime and played with it all day!
I just wanted to add these pictures of Blake Leigh. I never know what shes going to wear. She wore these outfits just to go shopping.
We have a huge nest by our front door. Not sure what it is yet but they are coming to knock it down today. I think we will have somewhere else to be during that time!I also had to dodge a SCORPION on a run before church yesterday morning. Unfortunately I did not stop to take a picture of it.
I promised to share the highs and the lows of moving my family to a different country. For the most part things are going as good as can be expected but I am having some trouble with my 9-year-old, Sloane. She is at a very hard age. I honestly think that we would be struggling with behavior whether we moved or not bit this huge change isn’t helping.
Sloane is a very passionate child. I actually love this about her. She is very loving and very loyal. She has a group of girlfriends at school that she adores. She says that they help her through hard times. She is really missing them and facetime just isn’t cutting it. When something doesn’t go her way or she feels like her siblings aren’t being fair. She says she wants to run away and throws a huge fit.
Luckily, she is very willing to talk about it and I encouraged her to write in a journal about her feelings. I try to tell her that she is not alone and I understand how she is feeling. I try to remember what its like to be 9 years old. Sloane and I are very different though. She is a people person and needs a little friend group.
I know in my heart that when school starts and she makes some friends that things will get better for her. I also signed the kids up for some camps to go to before school starts.
Another thing that has been difficult is church. We are going to a great church here and there are lots of kids that I know my kids will enjoy being around but the language barrier is hard. Luckily, there is someone who comes to each of the kids classes to translate for them. Nathan and I are in a little bit of a different situation though. There are so many precious people at the church and a handful that we can talk to. I have heard that fully immersing yourself in a spanish speaking group can help you learn the language faster so I hope that is the case.
We have church on sunday mornings and a bible study on friday evenings at different people’s homes every week. The church and the bible studys are about an hour from our home. Not understanding what they are saying is difficult but every week I understand a little more. I can definitely tell when they are passionate about something;) Yesterday at church our new friend, Diego, sat next to me and helped give me the main points of the lesson on his iPad and told me what scripture we were on. They talk so fast here!! I need to remind myself that we have only been here for a month (yes, we have already been here for a month!) It will get better over time.
Also, next week a group from our home church will be here. We are so excited about that! We will be having VBS, and the kids are really excited about the basketball camp that they will be putting on. It will be really good to see familiar faces and hear some lessons in English. The kids and I are doing spanish lessons for about an hour a day but we know it will take a while to learn the language.
I share all of this mostly so I will remember how I felt about things at this stage of the process, not to be negative or make people feel sorry for us. Please know that we are doing well. I am very encouraged at this point of the process and I am looking forward ro all the fun and challenges ahead.
Last weekend we went to Manuel Antonio. It is a National Park here in Costa Rica that is filled with wildlife, beautiful scenery and different kinds of beaches. It was about a 2 1/2 hour drive from our home. It was a really beautiful drive. We kept on saying “I can’t believe we live here!” The first morning that we were there we went to surf school. Yes, Surf School!! They came and picked us up from our hotel at about 7:30 am and we drove about 40 minutes to a specific beach that is good for surfer newbies.
They gave us a crash course on safety and we were off!
There were only 2 of them and 5 of us so we had to take turns and cheer each other on from the shore. Surprisingly, we were all able to get up on the surf boards and actually surf. We did have a lot of help from the guides though.
Luckily, there was a girl there to take pictures (not free of course but worth it!) It was nice to be able to just be in the moment and not have to worry about capturing every cool moment. Here are a few highlights from each our times.
We all had a great time and no one got too injured.
After our surfing lessons the guys took us to a really cool waterfall to play. It was pretty hidden and we would have never seen it otherwise.
We also went through the Manuel Antonio Park to the beach to play. The waves there were pretty intense. Benson and I had a great time letting them crash into us.
We are already looking forward to our next trip and we are hoping to buy some surfboards of our own.
About 90% of the time I eat Whole 30. (No dairy, added sugar, gluten and no preservatives.) Since moving here I have tried to embrace some of the local staples so I have added in beans and rice. Another big deal here are plantains. We have had them in so many different ways but my favorite is what I made last night. I stole it from Instagram so I won’t share the recipe just picture 🙂 this meal was 100% whole 30 complaint. I made little plantain buns as the base of the breakfast sandwich. And marinated spiralized carrots.
The school the kids will be going to is called Country Day School. It is an English-speaking school but has families from all over the world. They have a buddy family program that helps new families get acquainted with the area and she school. Yesterday, I got a call from our buddy family mom, Mariana. We talked for about an hour and it turns out they live in our neighborhood and have 2 kids that are around our kids ages. She was super nice and helpful. She filled me in on some camps that the kids could get involved in this summer and the best places to eat;)
They invited us over yesterday afternoon and the kids connected really quickly. Their daughter is 7 and got along really well with Sloane and Blake Leigh, and their son is 10 and clicked immediately with Benson. We left their house feeling a bit giddy. I told them when we left that they were a Godsend. I am very thankful and look forward to getting to know them better.
So, the majority of the texts that I get are asking how I am doing. Most of my close friends and family will ask, how are you doing, really? Not “how do feel and please say good because I don’t want to know if it’s not good, but really, how are you doing?” I know that is very wordy but that’s the only way I can put it into words.
The answer to that question changes minute by minute. I described how I feel to one of my friends like this. It’s like a rollercoaster. One minute I am doing good and am encouraged that we have done the right thing and the next minute I am feeling really sorry for myself and regretting making this crazy move. It is not one day at a time. It is one minute at a time.
If things are going my way then I am happy. Then, if for example, the guy is coming to install our TV’s and the one in the main family room just quits working, then I am a mess!!! Yes, it is all really stupid stuff that I get worked up about but I was really looking forward to us all sitting down and watching a movie together. It really is very selfish. But it’s real. Or, when we got cable installed (We havent had cable since we got married so I have been really excited) and ALL but about 3 channels are in Spanish! Well, Duh!!! I am learning to “manage my expectations” which is an old saying that Nathan brought into my life when we were dating. We use it a lot.
I have to give myself a break sometimes and realize that we have only been here for a short time and it takes a while to adjust. It is not realistic to think that I should already speak Spanish fluently or know my way around or have lots of friends and a daily cleaning and workout routine.
But on the other hand, I need to put on my big girl pants and set a good example for my children when things don’t go my way!!!
The picture below is just one of the ways we had to manage our expectations. Instead of cuddling up on he couch to watch a movie we decided to cuddle up in my bed and have a Despicable Me marathon with pizza! Not ideal, but it was a lot of fun and a great memory.